Ant Baits (Summer 2022)

Last updatedLast updated: July 11, 2022
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This page will help you decide which bait to use for different situations.  Each pest management job can require one or more bait formulations.  Every ant infestation can require a different method of baiting, one or more specific attractants and one or more formulation types (bait stations, granular bait, liquid bait or gel.)

Before choosing a bait, you should decide if an ant bait is suitable for the job.  There are certain ant species that rarely accept baits while other ants will accept or take your bait without eliminating your infestation.  For example:

  • Pharaoh Ants respond to baits far better than contact insecticides.
    Not all baits can be used to control this ant.  Advion Ant Bait Gel is one of the few that Pharaoh Ants will accept.
  • Crazy Ants will initially accept several types of baits but soon desert the material once the insecticide contained in the bait is detected by the colony.
  • Argentine Ants will also accept professional baits but their colony system (at times) can be too over whelming to handle with an outdoor baiting program; baiting indoors sometimes helps remove localized colonies.
  • Carpenter Ants will readily respond to the newer carpenter ant baits (Advance Carpenter Ant Bait and Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel) but follow-up treatments with the use of pesticides are usually needed to prevent re-infestation of the pests.
  • Fireant colonies can be treated with many different ant baits that are generic, that is they are labeled for many ant species, including fireants.  There are, however, fireant baits that were designed specifically to attract and kill this particular pest.  Advion Fire Ant Bait granules for outdoors with Advance Dual Choice and Advion Ant Bait Gel for indoors is a great combo for getting rid of fireants in a home.
  • InTice 10 Perimeter Bait (10% Boric Acid) lasts up to 90 days outdoors.  Controls ants, millipedes, sowbugs, pillbugs, roaches and other pests.

The next step in making an ant bait decision is exactly which formulation or combination of formulations is best for your problem.  There are five basic combinations currently available for use:

  • Solid Ant Bait Stations:  These disks (containing special ant baits) are often called “ant traps” by consumers, but they do not trap ants.  These disks are merely plastic stations filled with a material made up of attractants and a very small amount of an insecticide.  Ant bait stations are widely used by professional pest control operators and do-it-yourselfers for large, indoor ant populations.  Stations can be placed in areas where ant trails are seen inside buildings.  The newer professional stations (Maxforce FC Ant Bait Stations,  Advance Dual Choice Ant Bait) have “see through” containers that make for easier inspection.  If you find that the ants have consumed all or most of the bait, replace the station immediately.  Do not allow the ants to run out of bait!  Continue to replace the stations until no ant activity has been noted for at least 3 weeks.  In the case of white-footed antsPharaoh ants or Argentine ants, bait stations are sometimes left in place to help monitor populations or to watch for re-infestations.
  • Reusable Ant Bait Stations:  A somewhat new approach to baiting for insects is to make your own bait stations.  There are two different types of this baiters that can be used alone or combined for insect control, primarily for ant infestations: AntPro Baiting System and Ant Cafe.  The AntPro System will hold a great deal of Gourmet Liquid Ant Bait.  This system has a patented design that keeps bait fresh as well as in ample supply for continuous baiting of Argentine AntsCarpenter Ants and other species of ant colonies.  The Ant Cafe is a much smaller device that will hold Gourmet Liquid Ant Bait or gel formulations such as Maxforce Ant Killer Gel or Gourmet Ant Bait Gel
  • Granular Ant Bait:  This ant bait formulation is used primarily for scattering in attics, crawl spaces beneath homes and on the ground surrounding homes or other structures.  There are several pest specific baits to choose from:  Advion Fire Ant BaitAscend Fire Ant BaitExtinguish Fire Ant Bait, Amdro, Maxforce Fire Ant Killer BaitAdvance Carpenter Ant Bait.  These baits are designed for eliminating ants, fireants or carpenter ants.  Maxforce Granular BaitIntice 10 Perimeter Bait and Niban G are baits with a broader pest range, used to eliminate roaches, ants, silverfish or crickets.  Each of these baits work well in different pest elimination programs and are very useful in Integrated Pest Management (IPM.)
Note: Do not confuse granule ant baits with granular insecticides!  Ant baits are used dry; granular insecticides (which are a contact kill for pests) have to be “watered in” to release the insecticide into the soil or flower beds where they are applied.  Watering an ant bait will destroy its effectiveness.
  • Fine Granular Bait:
    Products such as Niban FG and Maxforce Granular FG are basically the same as their regular bait counterparts but are manufactured in smaller grains or granules.  This small granule size has 2 advantages: (a) ease of application when treating cracks, crevices and entry points and (b) the smaller sizes are easier for the smaller ant species (Pharaoh ants, Argentine ants) to take back to their colonies.
  • Ant Bait Gel:  This is the newest weapon in our fight against ants.  (A few Boric Acid ant baits have been on the market for some time, but professional specialty baits are just being introduced.)
    The gel formulations of ant baits make baiting in hard to reach or small areas easier than with conventional baits.  Application is simple: apply small spots (about the diameter of a regular pencil eraser) to areas where ant trails are seen or in holes or cracks where worker ants are seen entering or exiting the structure.  The ant bait gel you choose might very well list ways to bait outdoors but you should remember that heat, sunlight, rain, etc., can easily break down these baits.  A gel is usually the consistency of toothpaste and is made up of attractants, a tiny amount of ant killer and moisture – lots of moisture!  This moisture is part of the attracting quality of the bait and it can easily be lost or diminished by the elements and extreme temperatures.
    The most popular ant baits in gel form are Intice Smart Ant Bait GelMaxforce Ant Killer GelAdvion Ant Bait GelMaxforce Gel Carpenter Ant Bait and Boric Acid baits such as Gourmet Ant Bait Gel.  Gel formulations or soft ant baits can be applied in small beads, thin lines or in small bait stations such as the Ant Cafe.  Gourmet Ant Bait Gel is available in small and large kits that include tubes of bait and Ant Cafe bait stations.  These stations can be used indoors (where ants are known to feed heavily or where you do not want your bait to be contaminated by soaps, detergents, cigarette smoke or other contaminants) and outdoors.  Ant Cafes can be secured to shrubs, small plants or small limbs of trees where ants are known to forage for food.  They can also be placed on ledges or window sills.  If ants consume all of your gel bait, the Ant Cafe can be refilled until the ants have been eliminated.  When ant populations become finicky or decide to change sources of food and nutrition, refill the Ant Cafe with Maxforce Ant Killer Gel.  In cases where ants always return or re-infest, rotating between Maxforce Ant Killer Gel and Gourmet Ant Bait Gel is a good addition to your integrated pest management program for ant pests.
    In many cases, gel formulations are best used in conjunction with a granular bait or bait stations.  Use granular or bait stations for volume; use gel in hard to treat areas.   An excellent example of this one-two punch is seen in carpenter ant elimination.  Our customers have achieved great results by combining Maxforce Gel Carpenter Ant Bait with Advance Carpenter Ant Bait when dealing with large or stubborn ant infestations.
  • Liquid Ant Baits:  This old standby has been with us for many years and is seeing service in many ant elimination programs.  Two examples of liquid ant bait:
    Gourmet Liquid Ant Bait attracts ants with a premium combination of special sugars and proteins.  Contains Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate.  Should be used with Ant Cafe bait stations or AntPro Baiting SystemGourmet Ant Bait Gel is an excellent add-on bait when dealing with sugar feeding ants.
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